Dear University Management Team, Deans, and Department Heads,

The COVID-19 epidemic has undoubtedly challenged us personally and professionally as we navigate through this unprecedented time. We are grateful for the thoughtful way our Washington University community is responding to the current challenges facing our campus community as well as our regional, and global communities. Thank you for the ways you have reached out to support one another in recent weeks.

Many of you have already been made aware of the university’s plans to temporarily redeployee employees during our alternate operations. In the spirit of mutual support, Washington University is launching an initiative to assure that the incredible talent within our university is best aligned with the needs of both the university and the St. Louis community. We know that our alternate operations and COVID-related impacts will have an evolving impact on departments and organizations. Some employees have more to do, and some employees have less to do. At the same time, some university departments and nonprofit organizations are experiencing heightened need for support due to COVID-related impacts. We are launching this initiative to meet this anticipated need and facilitate temporary reassignment of university employees that best support the emerging needs of vital university departments and St. Louis area nonprofit organizations.

The purpose of the university redeployment project is to support employees, university departments, and local nonprofits who have experienced organizational impacts due to COVID-19. Those employees whose work has been reduced completely or significantly will be redeployed temporarily to other university departments or to St. Louis area nonprofits who seek additional support due to employee vacancies, heightened demand, or strategic priorities that can benefit from additional support. Redeployed employees will be matched by Human Resources based on skills and level of need. This is a temporary redeployment due to COVID-19.

As you evaluate your staffing needs and those employees who may be eligible for redeployment, the following list offers examples of the type of work assignments we anticipate:

  • Substituting for staff who are unavailable due to COVID
  • Managing data collection
  • Procuring or organizing resources
  • Preparing communication briefs 
  • Childcare assistance
  • Supporting a heightened influx of calls or inquiries coming into nonprofit agencies
  • Supporting communications or fundraising for nonprofit organizations that have had to cancel fundraising events or have heightened financial needs due to their COVID-related service delivery

Redeployment placements will take into consideration COVID-19 safety recommendations; federal, state, and local law and policy; university policy; and Human Resources and community engagement best practices.

To learn more about this initiative and submit a department request, please visit our website. If you have questions or want to submit employee names who are available for redeployment, please contact Joanie Hill at or Mark Prosperi at

Thank you for your continued commitment to be in St. Louis, for St. Louis, and for one another during this challenging time.


Legail Chandler
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

Stephanie Kurtzman
Peter G. Sortino Director
Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement